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IP/08/1122

Brussels, 9 July 2008

Internal Market Scoreboard: best result ever - Member States reach new target ahead of deadline

Member States have never performed better in implementing agreed Internal Market rules into national law, according to the European Commission’s latest Internal Market Scoreboard. On average only 1.0% of Internal Market Directives for which the implementation deadline has passed are not currently written into national law, down from 1.2% in December 2007. This means that Member States are already in line with the new 1.0% target agreed by Heads of State, which is to be achieved by 2009 at the latest. Eighteen Member States are either at or below the new target, while Bulgaria is the first Member State to achieve a deficit of 0%. Ten Member States achieved their best result so far. The overall trend is also positive as regards correct application of Internal Market rules: 15 Member States have managed to reduce the number of infringement proceedings against them. However, the overall number of these proceedings remains relatively high and it takes too long to resolve them. The full text of the latest Internal Market Scoreboard is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/score/index_en.htm

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "I am delighted that Member States have reached the new 1% target well ahead of the deadline set by the European Council. This is a remarkable feat and deserves special praise. I hope that this very positive trend will continue in future Scoreboards. However, timely implementation by itself is not enough: the Single Market also needs to function well in practice. In future we will be putting increasing focus on the proper implementation of Single Market laws at national level, and on stepping up cooperation with Member States in this area."

Implementation of Internal Market Directives

  • At 1.0%, the average transposition deficit – the percentage of Internal Market Directives that have not been implemented into national law in time – of the 27 Member States matches the new target deficit to be achieved by 2009 at the latest, and is well below the original target of 1.5%. 18 Member States have achieved the new 1.0% target.
  • 10 Member States have achieved their best result so far: Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, Greece, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, and Slovakia
  • 3 Member States have equalled their best result: Spain, Malta and Slovenia.
  • Bulgaria is in first position with a transposition deficit of 0%. Slovakia, Romania, Germany, Latvia and Lithuania are no more than 10 directives away from that perfect score.
  • 4 Member States that missed the future 1% target six months ago have now reached it: France, Finland, Hungary and Ireland.

Sweden has a deficit of 0.8%, and the United Kingdom a deficit of 0.9%, both down from 1.0% in December 2007.

  • Greece managed to reduce its deficit to 1.4% for the first time ever.
  • However, Member States still move at different speeds: if the Member States that are still above the 1.5% deficit target managed to reduce their deficit to just 1.5%, the average EU deficit would be below 1%.
  • Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland reversed their positive trend from six months ago.
  • In reverse order, the Czech Republic, Portugal, Poland, Luxembourg, and Cyprus still fail to reach the 1.5% target. However, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and (to a lesser extent) Portugal have made significant progress in reducing their deficits the past half year. On the other hand Cyprus' transposition deficit increased for the third consecutive time and as a result its 1.7% deficit is the same as three years ago. Poland also saw a slight increase in its transposition deficit compared to last time, from 1.7% up to 1.8%.
  • The breakdown of the transposition deficit according to sectors shows that the rules on free movement of persons are the source of the highest proportion of directives not yet transposed (7.9%). The EU rules on financial services come second with 4.5%. As a result these are two sectors where citizens and businesses are particularly deprived of the full potential of the Internal Market.

Infringements

  • The ranking of Member States according to the number of infringement cases remains almost unaltered compared to December 2007, with Italy accounting for the highest number of cases.
  • Despite the fact that the EU average of 48 open infringement procedures almost equals the result of 49 cases half a year ago, the overall trend is positive. 15 Member States managed to reduce the number of infringement cases, compared to 10 Member States last time. The highest reduction in open infringement procedures has been recorded in respect of Italy (7), followed by the United Kingdom and Ireland (6).
  • In doubling its number of cases, Bulgaria has seen the biggest increase. However, taking into account that Bulgaria joined the EU relatively recently, this is not unusual and the overall number is still very low.
  • Environmental rules are still the source of the highest number of cases (23%), followed by taxation and customs union rules (18%). The areas of energy and transport, public procurement and services saw a reduction in the number of cases by 1%.

Benefits of the Internal Market and the importance of implementation

The Internal Market plays a key role in achieving the EU's objective of creating more growth and jobs. It has created millions of jobs and billions of euros in prosperity. It gives EU citizens a wider choice of quality goods and services and greater freedom to travel, work, study and live in other EU countries, while making for a more efficient allocation of resources and offering greater trading opportunities to businesses. But the Internal Market can only achieve its full potential if legislation agreed at European level is effectively implemented and applied by all Member States.

Annex

Internal Market Scoreboard 17:

Transposition and application of Internal Market rules (details)

Transposition

EU-27 Member State transposition deficit, as at 13/05/2008 – 1687 directives

Ranking
1
2
2
2
5
6
7
7
9
9
11
12
12
12
12
16
17
17
17
20
20
22
23
23
25
26
27

Member State
BG
SK
RO
DE
LV
LT
DK
SI
ES
NL
SE
EE
FR
MT
FI
UK
HU
IE
AT
IT
BE
EL
CY
LU
PL
PT
CZ
EU
Transposition deficit (%)
0.0
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.6
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
1.0
1.2
1.2
1.4
1.4
1.7
1.8
1.8
1.9
2.5
1.0
Number of directives not transposed
0
6
7
9
10
10
11
11
14
14
14
15
15
15
15
15
16
17
20
21
23
24
29
31
31
32
42

Missing notifications to reach the 1.5% objective






















3
5
5
6
16

EU-25 Member State performance in meeting 0% target for Directives whose transposition is over 2 years late, as at 13/05/2008

Member State
IE
LV
NL
SK
FI
DE
IT
LT
HU
MT
UK
DK
EE
ES
FR
PT
SI
SE
EL
CY
AT
PL
CZ
BE
LU
Number of directives not transposed
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
1
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
3
3
3
3
6
7
12

Infringement cases

EU-27 Member State number of open infringement proceedings, as at 1/05/2008

Member State
RO
BG
LT
CY
SK
SI
DK
EE
HU
LV
CZ
LU
FI
SE
MT
NL
IE
AT
UK
PL
BE
PT
DE
EL
FR
ES
IT
Number of open infringement cases
9
14
18
18
22
23
25
26
26
28
31
31
33
43
45
48
53
54
57
58
64
68
87
88
94
108
127


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